New Delhi: The World Bank’s Board of Executive Directors today approved a $400 million multi-year financing envelope to help India enhance its coastal resources, protect coastal populations from pollution, erosion, and sea level rise, and improve livelihood opportunities for coastal communities.
The first phase of this multi-phase approach (MPA) will provide $180 million for Enhancing Coastal and Ocean Resource Efficiency (ENCORE). This is the first use of an MPA in India; the approach is aimed at providing long-term support for critical development agendas.
The multiyear financial support responds to the growing need to safeguard India’s coastal and marine assets over the next decade. The program will help protect coastal resources by focusing on the rehabilitation of coastal beaches and mangroves; address pollution from untreated waste streams including plastics; and support sustainable tourism to boost vulnerable coastal communities.
In Phase 1, ENCORE will cover eight coastal states (Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat, Goa, Karnataka, Kerala, Odisha, Tamil Nadu, and West Bengal) and three coastal Union Territories (Daman and Diu, Lakshadweep, and Puducherry), where coastal resources are under significant pressure.
The program’s key areas of support are based on the experience and results achieved in the ongoing World Bank-supported Integrated Coastal Zone Management Project (ICZM) pilot work in Gujarat, Odisha, and West Bengal. The project has helped demonstrate scalable and sustainable models for increasing the productivity of coastal and marine ecosystems and in improving the livelihood opportunities for coastal communities. Its achievements include the mapping and delineation of over 7,800 km of the Coastal Hazard Line for India’s entire mainland coast based on the latest climate change projections, as well as support the restoration of 19,500 hectares of mangroves. This has helped enhance coastal carbon sinks and protect coastal assets and communities against climate and disaster risks.
In fact, improved coastal management is an important element of India’s Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) under the Paris Agreement, where by India has agreed to create an additional carbon sink of 2.5 to 3 billion through additional forest and tree cover, including mangroves, by 2030; better adapt to climate change by enhancing investment in sectors vulnerable to climate change, including coastal regions; and invest in cutting-edge climate technology.
To support states and Union Territories better manage their coastal zones, the Program will build their capacity in integrating scientific information in the decision-making process. It will help states prepare state-level Integrated Coastal Zone Management Plans (ICZMPs); provide long-term support to the Government of India (GOI) in meeting national coastal and marine spatial planning needs; and develop and protect more intangible ‘blue’ resources such as carbon sequestration, coastal resilience, waste management and coastal tourism in order to help vulnerable coasts to mitigate the effects of poverty and climate change.
“In this context, the ENCORE program will expand the World Bank’s direct support toward achieving the NDC targets of the Government of India by supporting longer-term coastal adaptation, inlcuding thorugh ecosystem restoration and the sound management of mangrove forests and sea grass fields,” said Milen Dyoulgerov and Addepalli Sitarama Krishna, Senior Environmental Specialists and World Bank’s Task Team Leaders for the Project.
The $400 million loan from the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD), has a final maturity of 14.5 years including a grace period of five years.